ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A school bus hit a guard rail and went into a ravine east of the Lindbergh exit on westbound I-44 at around 8am Thursday. There were at least 7-8 ambulances called to the scene at the time of the crash. First responders called this a mass casualty accident, meaning, many children were injured.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says that a white truck and a red car got into an accident ahead of the bus on westbound I-44 just before 8:00am. The bus hit one of the vehicles and crashed into the guard rail. The bus then went off of the highway and into the woods.
The bus was traveling from the city of St. Louis to Hanna Woods elementary in Manchester. The students range in age from Kindergarten to 5th grade.
There were 12-13 children on board the bus at the time of the accident. Many of the children have minor scrapes. One of the children has moderate injuries. The Missouri Highway Patrol say the child was ejected through an emergency door when the vehicle went down the embankment. The bus driver was pinned in the bus at the time of the accident.
Kirkwood Chief Jim Silvernail says that twelve of the children were at the side of the highway when they arrived on the scene. Drivers on I-44 helped get the kids to the guard rail.
Firefighters say many of the kids had cuts, scrapes and bruises. They say that one of the children had a moderate, but not life threatening injury. The bus driver was trapped on the bus when firefighters arrived on the scene. The bus driver was rescued, and the children are off of the bus. They are being to St. Anthony and St. Clair Hospitals.
Latosha Ross FOX 2 that she heard children screaming and saw many injured kids after the accident. She was one of the first people on the scene to help with the rescue effort. One of the children came up to her and said they wanted to go to sleep. The child did not know his ear was partially severed.
First responders have closed two lanes of eastbound I-44 to work on the accident. Traffic is backed up on eastbound and westbound I-44. Please use an alternate route to avoid the area.
Firefighters and police were in the woods with chainsaws. The cleared brush around the bus to rescue people on the bus.
The Director of Communications for the Parkway School District, Paul Tandy, says a team of people is personally contacting the parents of injured students.
The drivers of the white truck and the red car involved in the initial accident were not injured.